The "Etnokulp" Awards to determine the best folk music and musicians in Estonia over the last two years took place in Viljandi on Friday. The night's big winners were the zombie folk, punk, trad-hop blending duo Puuluup, who took home four prizes including best artist and best song for "Paala Järve Vaala Baar."
The Etnokulp Awards returned this Friday after a two year break year, with Tarmo Noormaa, director of the Estonian Center for Traditional Music, delighted at the quality of folk music produced in Estonia since 2020. "Considering the size of the Estonian state, it's absolutely outstanding that the musicians are so active," said Noormaa.
More than 3,000 music fans cast their votes to determine the winners in six categories, including best newcomer and best authentic music. Leading the way this year, were the duo of Marko Veisson and Ramo Teder, collectively known as Puuluup. With live shows featuring choreography suitable for all age groups, Puuluup's music focuses mostly on the topical issues of cross country skiing and energy politics, with occasional and sudden digressions into the realms of hygiene and love.
In addition to winning best group, best nufolk artist and best song for their hit "Paala Järve Vaala Baar," in the public vote, Puuluup were also awarded the prize for best album by a specialist panel of judges, for their latest record "Viimane Suusataja" (The Last Skiier). Tallinn-based audiovisual folktronica three-piece OOPUS "Folk on Acid" picked up the special Raadio 2 award, while a special award from the Estonian Traditional Music Center was also presented to Ingrid Rüütel, a folk music researcher of and founding member of the field of Estonian ethnomusicology.
"Throughout her career, Ingrid Rüütel has been a socially influential advocate and spokesperson for the study of folklore," said Noormaa. "She has made recordings of thousands of folk songs as an active field researcher and participated in the making of several scientific films," he added, when presenting the award to Rüütel.
Noormaa also believes that folk music in Estonia is going from strength to strength, with new generations of performers bringing new levels of originality and character to the genre.
"The new generation is playing so well and they are so original, fierce and charismatic. I'm really optimistic," he said. Folk music has had such an important social role throughout history. It brings people together and gives a reason to party," he added.
The full list of winners at the 2022 Etnokulp Awards:
Best authentic folk music performance: Lüü-Türr "Tule minu ildaja istumaie"
Best "nufolk" (uusfolk) artist: Puuluup
Best newcomer: Leik "Las mind kasva"
Best song: Puuluup, " Paala Järve Vaala Baar "
Best solo artist: Mari Kalkun
Best group: Puuluup
Best album: Puuluup, "Viimane Suusataja" (The Last Skiier)
Raadio 2 special award: Oopus "Folk on Acid"
Estonian Center for Traditional Music special award: Ingrid Rüütel
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Editor: Michael Cole